The trends are undeniable. Findstack recently released remote work statistics for 2022 revealing that 16 percent of the world’s companies are 100 percent remote and 85 percent of managers “believe that having teams with remote workers will become the new norm.” Further, 62 percent of employees aged 22 to 65 report working remotely at least some of the time, according to the Findstack report.

As the pandemic continues to impact enterprise infrastructure, networks are undergoing an evolution in technology that increasingly depends on the edge. Edge networks support digital-first initiatives that underpin work from home (WFH) and other remote applications that are a must for today’s enterprises.

Likewise, open source hardware and software projects are driving innovation at the edge by accelerating the adoption and deployment of applications for cloud-native, containerized, and distributed applications.

Indeed, the impact of edge deployments can be seen in numerous use cases, including:

  • Increased attention on manufacturing and factory plants as enterprises look to boost supply chain and inventory management capabilities while also capitalizing on automation
  • Increased interest and investment in healthcare applications such as telemedicine
  • Continued and increased focus on and investment in digital infrastructure for smart cities, including for applications such as surveillance, public safety, city services, and autonomous systems
  • Enterprises from all verticals continuing to reinvent themselves as contactless, online-only experiences
  • Restaurants developing new ways to incorporate the “go mobile” mindset by developing mobile application programming interfaces (APIs) that expand no-dining and delivery options

This massive shift of resources to the edge is expected to continue this year and well beyond, as enterprise network traffic travels continuously from one edge domain to the next—wireless to wired connections, local area network (LAN) to wide area network (WAN), ISP to colocation, colocation to cloud, cloud to server workload, and more.

For enterprises, the benefits of distributing intelligence and computer resources across the communications path to the edge of the network are multitudinous: real-time/low-latency applications; smaller, lower-cost endpoint devices; localized data storage to meet regulatory requirements; and increased security and privacy.

But moving resources to the edge also presents challenges for enterprise IT teams that lose the visibility and control they’ve long depended on to ensure networks are behaving as expected. Likewise, moving resources to the edge makes it more difficult for enterprise IT to isolate service issues.

As such, enterprises that are making greater use of edge resources need to do so in conjunction with a service assurance solution that:

  • Ensures borderless monitoring and visibility—visibility across the network without adjusting for the “borders” of traditional enterprise networks
  • Leverages synthetic testing on a scheduled, consistent basis from the client edge perspective
  • Combines packet data and synthetic test technologies to effectively troubleshoot end-user experience and application performance
  • Extends visibility and analysis into any infrastructure environment, including WAN edges and the service edges at data centers, private and public clouds, and colocations
  • Ensures outstanding end-user experience regardless of network, location, or application service
  • Improves IT troubleshooting
  • Implements monitoring visibility to fill in gaps created throughout the process

Learn more about the importance of service assurance at the edge in our new white paper “Smoothing Out the Rough Edges: Remote Initiatives Expose Need for Visibility, Continual Monitoring of Edge Computing.”

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